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Hush n Wonder

fashion, food, and all things fabulous

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Ina Garten has always said that simple food is the best food, and after trying her French Apple Tart, I now know exactly what she’s referring to.  It was a Sunday afternoon and I wanted carbs (this was pre-workout/health kick.)   I really just wanted a big slice of french bread smeared with butter.  I was set to drive to the store and get just that, but then realized maybe I wanted something sweet too.  Yeah, I’d have to make a dessert.  After paging through my cookbooks, Ina’s French Apple Tart was exactly what I needed.  Sweet, gooey apples, crumbly crust, and a big lump of vanilla bean ice cream was my supper.  And, wow, what a great decision it was.  Below is the recipe.  My recommendations are to eat it warm (always) and although I used ice cream, I think whipped cream would be equally amazing.


For the pastry:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
  • 1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water


For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.


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My best dressed for the evening has to go to Miss Natalie Portman. She was glowing.  And her dress was fitted to her adorable little belly!   It’s so wonderful to see her showing off her baby bump and not wearing something utlra flowy in attempt to hide it.  The dress itself was a crisp white Azzaro number, and she was reportedly wearing $2 million worth of Tiffany jewels as well (no wonder she was glowing!).  Also loved the sleek little updo.  Complete class, I can only hope I look half as cute as she does whenever I get preggers!

Other honorable mentions of the evening have to be Susan Sarandon, Mila Kunis, and Michelle Rodriguez.   Who were your favorites of the evening?

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First I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts – I promise next week, we’ll be back on track with regular updates.  Second, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  This particular “I’d Wear” is one that is meant to be worn out to dinner and drinks with girlfriends.  Last night I had the opportunity to meet Kylie from A Sequin Dress at Breakfast and Samantha from The Brunette One and I had the best time talking fashion and blogs with these talented, young ladies!  Check out their inspiring sites!

Old Navy’s Biker Chic Real Leather Moto Jacket $149


The perfect for layering Cream Broderie Neck Swing Top from Topshop $66


Perfectly faded French Connection Radley Boyfriend Jeans $38.99


The ultimate edgy heal, Elizabeth and James E Tari Nubuck Sandal $350


Would you?

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I’m not going to let the bitter cold get me down.  Sometimes winter can get pretty bleak, but my weekend was fun (in a silver-lining type way, does that translate?  I’m too tired to explain…) and here’s why.

– Catching up with old friends from high school and my stables

– Packers beat the Bears!

– Fires in the fireplace pretty much nonstop

– English Tudor Style Homes

– Going through old horseshow magazines

– Planning a lefse cooking date with my grandparents

–  Booking a post-college spring break

– Free People’s Spring/Summer line (expect a post!)

I’m obssessed with this photo.  Do you ever just look at an image and it takes you somewhere?   This little pic completely does that for me.  The nuzzled up embrace, the avant garde clothes, and trying to figure out where they are, what they’re doing, and their relationship is enough to keep my mind occupied for longer than I’d care to admit. 

Image via Elin King

What an amazing cover.  Izabel Goulart is captivating, and  I can’t remember the last time an American fashion mag had a cover this striking.   Perhaps it’s time to start putting more models and less actresses (who’s blockbuster movies are so conveniently hitting theaters that month) in the spotlight?  Thoughts?


The thing that draws me into fashion most are the details.   Wouldn’t you agree?  Take Chanel’s Quilted Handbag.  The prettiest part?  The delicate, little quilted pillows.   And what do you remember most about Carrie in Sex and the City Season Three?  Her huge flowers pins of course.   And Kate Moss, my all time favorite fashion icon, sports leather jackets over the frilliest of dresses, a detail that’s hard to ignore.   One of my very favorite details right now are pleats. And I’m not talking cheesey, 20’s styled pleats that look like they belong in a costume shop.  I’m talking intricate folds the flow perfectly against the body, creating an effect that is the epitome of dreamy.  To get an idea of the pleats I’m talking about, take a look at Atelier Versace’s Fall 2010 line.  Pleating at it’s very best.

And believe it or not, the look translates to every day…

1.  3.1 Phillip Lim, Leather Drawstring Shorts $675

2. French Connection, Pretty Polly Pleated Pants $49.99

3.  See by Chloe, Pleated Silk Crepe de Chein blouse, $530

4.   Jason Wu, Ohanzee Printed faille silk dress, $2,600

5. Dion Lee, Knife Pleated Silk Crepe Skirt $730

6.  Nina Ricci, Pleated Scarf $230

7.  Marnie Bugs, Pleated Leather Cuff $70

8.  Forever 21, Abstract Woven Tunic $19.80

9.  Marc by Marc Jacobs, Framed Leather Shoulder Bag $360

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